The first one being a white car while the Hamann car was a black one, not the easiest shades to photograph (there is no fun in shooting a red car now is there ?) so I will show you just how to take a decent shot in the first place and make it an outstanding masterpiece ready for publishing in post processing.
Your first order of business is naturally to plan the shoot, you have to get in touch with the owner of the car (or owners in this case) and decide on a date, time and place you will encounter each other, note that this doesn't necessarily need to be the spot for your shoot, most of the time a parking lot that is easily found would be best.
Once you've made an appointment it is time to decide on the equipment you are taking to the shoot, for starters make sure you charge all your batteries the day before the shoot, also check the memory cards you intend to use, format them inside the camera to make sure you can take as many shots as possible (after you've copied the photos that are still on them onto your computer naturally). Also think about your tripod, you might not need it, but remember that every professional car photographer will use a good tripod for the static shots, it is indispensable in fact, so take it along anyway.
It is really important to take your time for an automotive photo shoot, if you rush things it will show in the photographs, Rome wasn't built in a day, and your award winning shot will most likely not be taking without decent preparation either, so make sure both you and the owner of the car have time to spend.
First decide on a location for your shoot, indoors or outdoors, it all depends on the end result you are trying to achieve, personally I would tend to take as many shots as possible outside, if weather permits, but sometimes you are forced to work indoors, and in this case those flash units will come in handy. Flash photography on cars is a totally different technique that I will unveil in a future tutorial, so for now I will focus on the outdoor shots, make sure you've taken a look at my 10 tips for your first outdoor car shoot tutorial for the basics on a car shoot in daylight. When you are looking around for a location make sure it suits the car, this black Hamann tuned BMW 5-Series was just perfect on a gravel pit with some industrial siding behind it, the black nicely contrasts with the light shaded background, take this into account to make the car 'visible' on the background, a dark background with a black car would be a difficult shot.
Once you've decided on a place and a time (preferably in the late afternoon on a sunny, but cloudy day) it is time to start photographing that stunning looking car in front of you, so you start thinking about which angles you would like to have in your shots, this is where your relationship with the owner comes in handy.
He will have to move his car around several times during the shoot, so the better your relationship with him (or her) the better you will get away with asking him to move the car just a few inches more to get the shot you want, as it is better to move the vehicle than to take another angle in some cases.
Because you will be keeping an eye on the position of the sun (preferably on your back, remember ?) the car will have to be positioned just right so there are no harsh shadows visible when you take that award winning photograph. A lot has been said about which angles you just have to take when photographing a car, and I will repeat myself again in this section. This latter shot might require you to bring a ladder, fortunately the location I selected for this photo shoot had some other options, I could go up a slope on one side while large containers were parked on the other side, with a ladder on the side to get on top of them. Normally I also include some interior shots in my shoot, these require some very different settings, and most of the time extra light equipment, so I won't go into details in this article, a full tutorial on 'car interior photography' will be available next. If you take your car photography serious you should have lots of shots when you finally come home after this type of photo shoot so how about an additional tip from me : take two or three exposures from every angle you work on, especially if you are hand holding the camera .
This is a small trick I always use, especially when photographing the interior or engine of a car.
If you plan on taking the car (or cars) to various locations you should count on at least 4 to 5 hours, or sometimes even an entire day, remember that the cars could get dirty if you drive them over public roads, keep this in mind when you plan your locations, if it rains try to think about a nice big garage lot. Make sure to leave your business card with the owners, normally they should already know you from when you arranged the meeting, but better be safe than sorry, also get their address so you can share your work with them afterwards, every owner I ever worked with was really pleased to receive at least some of the shots taking during the day. You probably come home with hundreds of shots from this kind of car photo shoot, so first order of business it to copy all your memory cards onto your computer, which takes time and space, once you get serious about photographing cars you will notice that you never have enough space on your computer, so external hard disks are a necessity these days. Copy all your photographs onto your internal hard drive, if you've worked your way through all your cards copy every single shot onto a back up disk, preferably an external hard disk, so you will be safe when things go terribly wrong with your computer, once the original photographs are copied onto your backup disk power it down (remove it correctly from your system) so they stay safe. Now it is time to go over your pictures and select the good ones, I use Adobe Bridge to organize my photo shoots, actually before I copy my cards I create a directory on my PC with the full date and a small description of the car or event I've covered, this way the shots are ordered by date and I can quickly find the images I need. I always shoot in RAW, so now it is time to start developing the photographs that remain (you should have 'trashed' the snapshots in the previous step), normally I always use Adobe Camera Raw for this step, however I've been using DxO Optics Pro for some time now, and the results are more than adequate for most purposes anyway.
After DxO worked it's magic on the photographs I run them through an action in Adobe PhotoShop to resize them to 1800x1200 and put a watermark in place, after that I burn all these shots on a DVD, put it inside a nice box complete with inlay and give it to the owner of the car so he can select the images he really likes. To explain the post-processing I usually perform after a photo shoot I've selected one shot that I will go over the entire process with you so you can gather ideas from this workflow. This shot shows the car from the classic front three-quarter view, however I have composed the photograph in such a way that the BMW is positioned at the upper right corner of the crop, with a nice reflection in the water in front of the car.
Remember to leave just a hint of grass on the section where the siding is touching the ground, otherwise it will look too artificial and you would want to avoid that at all costs. This should make the white on this car really bright while the black parts should turn to solid black instead of a dark grey, also note that the reflection in the water comes out better now because you've increased the contrast between the colors in this step. The next step is to take care of the darker section I noticed on the front bumper, in fact the car should have been moved a bit more so the entire front was towards the sun, however this would mean a totally ruined background if I wanted this angle, so I decided to adjust it in post-processing, which is easy as you will see. Take a soft brush and 'paint' white over the sections that appear too dark on the front bumper, naturally the effect it too strong, but after I dial the Opacity of this layer down to 50% it is just right and looks just the way I wanted from the start.
Now select the gradient fill tool and press the 'D' key to set the foreground color to black and the background color to white, also make sure you've selected a 'Foreground to transparent' gradient. If I would have changed the opacity of the entire layer now it would also make the bottom gradient lighter, and I actually like it this dark, that is why I played with the actual fill opacity for the top section.
Now I did notice that I also made the top of the car itself darker with this gradient, so I select the 'Eraser' tool and just erase the parts where the dark gradient touches the windshield and bodywork of the car. Most of the time this would be the end of my post-processing, however on this shot I wanted to continue a but further, did you notice the tires on the car, because I was shooting on gravel they got dirty.
Once you've covered all the parts it is time for the magic, go to the Opacity setting for this latest layer and start lowering it (select the value and press Shift-Down Arrow for 10% steps), you will slowly see the thread of the tire appear again. On a white car a dark window tint always looks good, now the owner of this BMW didn't put a black window tinting film on the glass, but I will install it anyway in post-processing.

Naturally now the windows are completely black, which they rarely are, so I will again lower to opacity of the layer to get the impression I'm looking for, at 50% I really liked the dark look that still leaves something visible from the interior. This high angle view of the same car has been through a similar workflow as described above, some cloning, a levels adjustment to bring out the white shade of the BMW, some Dodge and Burn to brighten up the dark parts and make the dark parts even darker, cleaning the tires and putting window tint in place. A photo shoot takes some time to get done right, however post processing correctly will take even more time, that is why it is very important to select only the good photographs before you start your PP skills, there is absolutely no reason to start working on a sub-standard image. Note : commercial use or publishing of our tutorials in any way, written or electronic, is strictly forbidden, we present these for your personal development only. If you've been enjoying our tutorials you will be delighted with the eBook we're publishing, over 200 pages packed with mostly full color photos showing you just how to get that stunning shot. Become a CPT Premium Member and download all our tutorials including a PDF for printing and the result as a PSD file with layers if any. Suction caps are commonly used to attach a boom onto a car so you can position a camera at a fixed point from the car and take a photograph while the car is moving to create impressive action shots.
Instead of going for one very large and expensive monitor why not invest in two smaller ones and expand your 'monitor real estate' even further, allowing you to post process photos full screen with all the tools out of the way.
Und so geht’s: Pin Up Anwarterinnen bewerben sich bitte mit ihren schonsten und originalgetreusten Bildern zum Wettbewerb fur den einzigartigen ‚Pick Up meets Pin Up Calendar 2011’. Always take some extra batteries fully charged in your bag, just in case, at least one for the camera and one set for the flash if you use an external one. You should have scouted for a location (or multiple locations) before the shoot, if you still have to look around for a decent place when the owner is standing in front of you he will not get the best impression.
This also gives you the opportunity to check the position of the sun on a given time of day, this is equally (if not more) important as the location of your shoot. If you are shooting on a parking lot try to avoid the white or yellow lines on the floor, they can be every useful to 'draw' attention towards the car, but in this case you'll have to position the car exactly right, in all other cases you'll have to get rid of them in post-editing, which could be very difficult as they will probably reflect onto the bodywork too. Unless you are shooting an SUV or off-road vehicle stay away from trees, they give some very strange reflections on the shiny bodywork, especially on a dark color you get the most freaky shades you do not want and who are very difficult to remove in post-editing if at all possible. Once you have the car on the location you want make sure the sun is in your back, do not shoot the car into the sun unless you know perfectly well what you are doing and would like to have that special effect, however most of the time this will take some serious experience, so don't try it at your first shoot. A car is best shot with diffused light, this will imply that you are not shooting at noon, try to fix the shoot in the afternoon, sometime after 15h00 is a great time to start during the summer, you'll have great light for hours to come. Shooting in the afternoon will avoid harsh shadows on the car, at noon when the sun is directly above you at full power you will probably overexpose the top of the car while the details on the lower side of the car will completely disappear in the shadows, the purpose of shooting a car is to have the entire car exposed just right, with enough light to bring out the shadows, but not too much light to clip the highlights into oblivion. With experience comes the ability to see an image in your head before you actually take it, this can be very useful when shooting a car outside, on your first shoot this could be a challenge, but still try to remember how you would like to have your picture come out, then try to compose the shot with the car in front of you.
One of the most important filters when doing an outdoor car shoot : the circular polarization filter. A good polarization filter will eliminate (or strongly lower) any reflections from both the bodywork and the glass sections, if the windows aren't too darkly tinted you can actually see inside the car when using this type of filter. Because the reflections are tempered you will have less problems with the surroundings around the car, these can give some very strange reflections on the bodywork, especially when trees are around, by setting the polarizing filter just right you might avoid these reflections completely. If you want to bring out the shiny detailing done on the car you might consider leaving the polarization filter at home so the car has an intimidating reflection, but we would advice you to use this filter at all times when the sun is out. Check the tires when you shoot the car, they should have no marks on the side, also when the thread is in view make sure no small gravel remains in it, this gives a very untidy impression in your shot. Shoot the car with all doors closed (unless it's a car with gullwing doors, then it's a feature) and check the side windows, they should be completely up. This is even more important when you are doing interior shots, take a look at the TVR interior on this page, the seats are clean, no marks or streaks on the light leather, the dark blue carpets have been meticulously cleaned so no dirt is visible. However there are a few mistakes in this shot : we should have put the steering wheel straight, now it is tilted to the left which is not good for the shot, more importantly there are papers all around, have the owner remove them if he's around, they distract in the composition and are near impossible to edit out afterwards. Another detail is the hand brake lever, you should always try to shoot on level grounds, put the car in first gear and leave the hand brake down so it doesn't poke up into the shot like here, it is a nice, wood covered unit, but still it shouldn't be up like this.
After you've got these you can get creative and try different angles and altitudes, don't hesitate to get low to the ground or use a stepladder to get a higher point of view on the car, those nice foldable ladders work very well in this case, they fit into the trunk of your car and you still can get relatively high.
Shots from a higher elevation work very well if the concrete isn't too badly cracked, otherwise try to move the car a bit, don't use a ladder on grass, you could end up tilting over because of the softer ground, be careful with this. The lens you are taking to your first outdoor car shoot is very important, depending on your location you will have to select a focal range that will work, if you are thinking about shooting with a 70-200mm lens you will need wide open spaces.
The resulting shots will be great, but it won't be practical, you are much better off with a nice standard lens like a 17-55mm or something similar, the wide angle will allow you to stay relatively close to the car, especially important when you are working in a public place were people can walk into the frame at any given moment.
Don't go for an Ultra Wide Angle (UWA) like a Canon EF-S 10-22 or something like that, sure it will allow you to nearly sit on the car while photographing it, but such an extreme wide angle also gives unwanted distortions, for your first shoots stick to the base lens we've discussed in our Must have base equipment tutorial. One small detail that is also often overlooked : keep your lens clean, smudges, water drops and large dust speckles can show up in your final shot, always keep a nice soft cloth with you to clean the lens from time to time, a manual air blower works wonders on dust, both inside and outside of your lens. Use burst mode, just in case your first shot has some camera shake in it, chances are your second shot will be tack sharp. This could be a problem on very recent cameras however, with an FPS of 6 or more these days you get a lot of shots when you're not careful, on a Canon EOS 40D for instance you have two burst modes, one with about 3 fps and one with 6.2fps, the first one is perfect for this method.

On thing to remember when doing interior shots of a dark upholstery is the fact that the outside will probably be overexposed like in the shot we've shown, this can be corrected in two ways, both of which we discuss in our special Interior shooting tutorial. Remember we've advised you to get a lens with some kind of stabilization in our Must have base equipment article ?
An outdoor car shoot is probably the next best thing compared to a real studio shoot, however renting a studio and equipment large enough to photograph cars could be very expensive and require some serious travelling, so we prefer outdoor shoots given you have several nice locations, if you are shooting larger numbers of cars over a given period it is always a nice option to have multiple locations you could select depending on the car.
A race car shouldn't be shot on a grass field but rather on some concrete, preferably even a pit lane or something that resembles it, a modern car can be put in front of a modern building while a classic car feels more at home around older mansions. When you shoot an exotic or rare car in such a place ask them to pose next to the car and offer them a printed 6x4 for their effort, this will put them at ease and give you some credit the next time you are looking for a location, you might even get a free exit pass if there is a fee.
Don't forget your circular polarizing filter, a cloth (just in case) and a remote shutter control for those longer exposures. I also pack all my external flash units compete with radio triggers, stands and umbrellas, just in case I need some extra light to bring out the details in a shot, again you might not need these, but if you do and you've left them at home you're in trouble. These are the most important angles you just have to take during a professional car photo shoot : Front three-quarter shot from headlight level, Rear three quarter shot from taillight level, Full frontal and full rear view, Full side view from a low level and if possible a front and rear three quarter view from a higher level.
Always keep in mind that you might not be allowed to climb on top of a container, so a nice stepladder might be a great idea to add to your equipment list. You will probably only use on of these three exposures (or combine multiple exposures in a HDR shot) but at least now you can select the one that turned out best.
In this case you have two options, either bring along a towel to clean them on the spot, or handle it in post processing like I will do now.
If you lower the Opacity too far you will see the dirt again, so the trick is to put the value at a level where you can still see the thread but you don't notice the dirt anymore, in this case I've put it at 60%. I still wanted one more thing actually, if you take a look around at a tuning show you will most likely see that the side windows are dark but the back window is just about completely black, this was the look I wanted on this car too, so I added yet another layer and 'painted' the rear window black, lowered the opacity to 50% and that's it ! A good photograph can be turned into a great one, a bad photograph will never become a good photograph, no matter how good you are in PhotoShop. None of our material may be published in any way without prior, written permission from the Car Photography Tutorials founder.
This might seem obvious, but we've all encountered this, halfway into the shoot the batteries for the flash run low only to die completely a few shots later. Select a location depending on the background you would like to add to your shot, make sure it is as clean as possible, electricity poles and trashcans are not ideal in a shot, try to avoid them at all costs. Wintertime is a different story, the light could very well be gone by 17h00 so you can start at noon anyway if you can stand the cold. A white car is especially difficult, as is a black car however the Porsche on this page was exposed perfectly well by shooting in the shadow at about 5 pm. Go through your collection of recent magazines and think about the images they published, take a longer look and try to imagine how they made this shot. It doesn't come cheap because you'll want to get a B&W or Hoya, but trust us, the results are so much better, especially when the sun is out. If there is an aerial make sure it is retracted and double check all doors, they have to be fully closed.
Now draw another gradient from the bottom of the image towards the middle, making the puddle and gravel look better. As the side windows aren't really visible from this angle I will only apply if on the windscreen, so I select my brush again and start painting with black all over the parts that I want to apply a dark tint to. August findet wahrend der US Car Classics das Calendar Shooting “Pick Up meets Pin Up“ statt, fur begeisterte Madels fur die 50er und 60er Jahre und all ihren modischen und kulturellen Nebenerscheinungen. If you shoot a dark shade car take don't take it to a sand pit first if you are shooting multiple locations, the dust will ruin any subsequent shots. Just talk to them in advance, most of the time they have no problem with you bringing in a car into the parking lot if they know about it. Nach Betty Page, Marilyn Monroe und Dita von Teese konnen jetzt auch Sie eine der neuen Pin Up Legenden werden. Unsere objektive Fach-Jury wird dann, aus der Vielzahl der Einsendungen, die 7 Siegerinnen des Contests wahlen, die ihrer Meinung nach perfekt das Bild der Pin Up Frauen aus der damaligen Zeit verkorpern. Die Frauen auf den Bildern der damaligen Zeit trugen zumeist ein figurbetontes Kleidungsstuck, wie z.B. Die gute alte Zeit als Jungs mit Elvis-Tolle und Madels in Ringelsockchen und Petticoats, die auf dem Rucksitz Handchen haltend sa?en, wahrend auf der Leinwand des Autokinos James Dean auf die Klippe zuraste – Das ist Rock’n Roll!

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